Faulker and Modernism

According to literature, modernism is a philosophical movement that began in the early 1900s and lasted until the early 1940s (Barbour 54). Modernization, along with other cultural developments and patterns, culminated in far-reaching and wide-scale transitions in Western society. The rapid development of cities, responses to World War I, and the advent of new industrial economies were only a few of the many forces that influenced modernization in the early twentieth century. The same modernization, however, dismissed the assurance associated with enlightenment thinking. As a result, many modernists oppose religious practice. In that case, this discussion will be about how the philosophy of modernism is expressed in the two written works of William Faulker, That Evening Sun and Barn Burning.

In the literal work, “Barn Burning”, the performance of justice system is an act of modernism. Colonel Sartoris was filled with guilt when he was brought to testify in the court (Faulkner 74). This was an indication that the boy knew something about the presented case, but he was ordered by somebody (his father) to keep quiet. This is an act rift to the justice process, and it is influenced by modernism. However, after being overburden by the actions of his father, Sartoris decided to snitch his father and the father’s plan of burning the farm for the second time was thwarted. Also, the reality in this literal work is expressed in fragments, which are tenets of modernism.

That Evening Sun is a literal work about a girl named Nancy who happened to have experienced many horrific sexual encounters before she was married. She was involved in the whoring business and had to deal with clients who had demands that were difficult to meet (Faulkner 672). The prostitution act illustrated in this literal work is as a result of modernism. However, most of the ladies who participated in the prostitution business were Negros.

In conclusion, the two literal works illustrate that the philosophy of modernism is full of iron, satire, and actions that are taken as a result of guilt. For instance, in the ‘Barn Burning’ Colonel felt guilty of not telling the truth when he was given the chance to do so. Similarly, Nancy is guilty of her horrific sexual life experience before marriage.

Works Cited

Barbour, Scott. American Modernism. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press, 2000. Print.

Faulkner, William, and Barrett Clark. Barn Burning. Old Greenwich, Conn: Listening Library, 1977. Sound recording.

Faulkner, William, and Doren C. Van. “That Evening Sun.” Modern American Prose. 23 (1934): 672-686. Print.

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